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Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

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Saint Mary Euphrasia
Born July 31, 1796(1796-07-31)
Noirmoutier, France
Died April 29, 1868
Angers, France
Nationality French
Other names Rose Virginie Pelletier
Known for Catholic saint


She was born in the island of Noirmoutier, France of pious parents, on 31 July 1796, and received in baptism the name of Rose Virginie. She entered the community of "Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge" of Tours, in 1814, and made her profession in 1816, taking the name of Mary Saint Euphrasia. She became first mistress of the penitents, a short time after her profession, and about eight years later was made superioress of the house of Tours. Desirous of extending the benefits of her order to the extremities of the earth, she saw that a central government, a mother-house, should be established.

The house of Angers, which she had founded, was believed by the founders to be destined by God for grand designs. She was treated by her adversaries as an innovator, an ambitious person, impatient of authority. Only after incessant labours and formidable opposition did her cause triumph. The Brief in approval of the mother-house at Angers was signed 3 April, 1835, and published by Pope Gregory XVI. The official title of the institute was henceforth "Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd of Angers". It is directly subject to the Holy See, and Cardinal Odescalchi was its first cardinal-protector. Angers was authorized to send its sisters to the extremities of the earth. Mother Euphrasia heartily devoted herself to the work entrusted to her. She had been accused of ambition, of innovation, and of disobedience. Her sole ambition, by the estimation of Catholic Encyclopedia, was to extend God's kingdom, and to offer the benefits of her institute to the whole world. Her innovations, in harmony with the spirit of the Gospel, with the fourth vow of her order, were approved by Roman Catholic Church, and gave in thirty-three years one hundred and ten soul-saving institutions to the Church and to society. Her institutions were all founded in obedience to the requests of ecclesiastical authorities in every part of the world. Thirty-three years she was mother-general of the Good Shepherd, and at her death 29 April 1868, she left 2067 professed sisters, 384 novices, 309 Touriere sisters, 962 "Magdalens", 6372 "penitents", and 8483 children of various classes. Angers had seen great changes since 1829, when Mother Euphrasia had come with five sisters to found the house. Within thirty-three years one hundred and ten convents had been founded, sixteen provinces established, in France, Belgium, Holland, Rome, Italy, Germany, Austria, England, Scotland, Ireland, Asia, Africa, the United States and Chile. Under her successor, Mother Mary St. Peter Coudenhove, in twenty-four years, eighty-five houses were founded, and thirteen new provinces established, making eleven in Europe, two in Africa, nine in North America, five in South America and one in Oceania.[1]


The cause of the beatification of Mother Euphrasia was inscribed by the postulator of the cause, 17 November, 1886. The preliminary examination terminated in 1890. Pope Leo XIII received supplications from numerous cardinals, archbishops, bishops, several cathedral chapters, rectors of colleges, and universities, hundreds of priests, and many noble families, begging him to dispense from ordinary ten years' interval required before the continuation of the cause.

On 11 December 1897, Pope Leo XIII declared her "Venerable". She was beatified on 30 April 1933 and canonised on 2 May 1940 by Pope Pius XII.

Quotations of Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

  • "Though old stars burn out and die, look to the new and even beyond."
  • "Go after the lost sheep without other rest than the cross, other consolation than work, other thirst than for justice."
  • "It is well known that I had neither riches, nor talent nor external charm, but I have always loved, and I have loved with all the strength of my heart."
  • "You have to adapt to all circumstances. Do the best you can, while remembering that, according to the spirit of our calling, we must be everything to everyone."
  • "Do well all that you do."
  • "A person is of more value than the whole world."
  • " Let your light shine."


External links

This article incorporates text from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

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